Saturday, October 22, 2011

Swim Struggles

Well, clearly not the head or hand position John would like to see. Just a little 'photo shoot' though, so I hope in 'real life' I can do better than that. Flip turns have never been my forte. Ok. I'll admit:

The whole swimming thing is not my forte these days.

It never has been.

Why not?

My form sucks.
I get cold.
Chatting with friends is impossible.
Chlorine gives me a headache.
The scenery leaves much to be desired.

As I have mentioned before, I grew up swimming. Hard to believe. I joined the local German swim club when I was 6 and swam a few times a week until I was 12. Then I was banned from the pool for a year because of health issues. I think that is when the trouble began. My younger sister had always been a fish and that year she got really good and I've been chasing her ever since. She maybe swims once a week these days but I am positive that she could still out-swim me any day. Who wants to get beat by her younger sister as a teenager? Not me! So I dropped swimming at age 14. Not a big loss. At the time.

I started back up in the pool after joining the local triathlon club 2 years later. Eventually I moved to the States and swam on my own for about 10 years. Yikes! You heard that right. I swam without a coach for that long. What a lame idea! During that time my stroke went from decent to not-so-good to bad to horrible. And that is where I am at now. Not fun! I am working on it but it takes time and I am impatient. I want coach to say: "Do this drill, Sarah, and after doing it 1,325 times your stroke will be perfect." Unfortunately, it does not work that way. Ugh.

The NAU pool is cold. Freezing, actually. I have plenty of body fat, so I think the problem is that I am not working hard enough. I tell myself': Get that heart rate up, girlfriend! But I am not a fan of suffering in the water because it equals feeling like I am going to suffocate any minute. Not fun!

I like to be social. What makes the off-season great is being able to bike and run with friends and chatting it up. So I show up at the pool 5 minutes late these days and then start a lengthy conversation with my lanemate(s) about something or other very important. Since there is not quite enough time to finish the conversation, we do so in between sets. I am pretty sure I am driving coach nuts. They make fun of me but I keep telling them: One more week and then it's back to business.

I made up the headache part. It sounded like a good reason not to like the pool.

I think I would love swimming if I could do so in a lake or pond or river or ocean. Something with changing scenery, fresh air, and (tame) wildlife! Not a fan of treadmills, trainers, or indoor pools.

There you have it. My excuses for being a rather poor swimmer.

That all being said, right now Masters is on fire and I am loving it. Remember the ITU pros that came biking with us on Saturday? Well, they also swim with us. And they multiply. Saturday it was 3, today it was 5. Including Canadian super star Brent McMahon*. All these guys are trying to qualify for the Olympics next summer and today they swam in the lane next to me! It is so cool that I can't get over it. They are so fast! When we did sprints, the waves were so big that I swallowed a gallon of water and about drowned. I want to invite some of them over for dinner, so I can pick their brains. Karl and I are also discussing having Max and Noah sleep in our closet, so we can host one of these super stars in our extra bedroom. Wouldn't that be fun?

Maybe Thursday I should just sit out and gawk at them rather than swim. Learning by watching...

* I clearly need to get my ITU guys straight. I did not even recognize Brent McMahon this morning! It was not until Paul Brinkman pointed it out tonight on the track. I think they should just always wear their racing suits with name and country on their chest.


wilson4 said...

Wow girl--give yourself a break! You are a much better swimmer than so many of us dream to be. It is all relative my friend.

Leslie said...

"Karl and I are also discussing having Max and Noah sleep in our closet, so we can host one of these super stars in our extra bedroom."
LOL! Love it! Classic :)
Sorry for your swim struggles, I feel you though. I have no idea how I was once motivated enough to swim 8-11times/week in high school. Yikes. The chlorine makes me very tired. When is open water season again? :)